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Second degree encounters


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And I still have the manual for the Magna-Tech 4000 “portable” mag film recorder, which has one of the best written user guides for the novice transfer operator that I’ve seen (printed on a dot matrix printer). I will scan and post it one of these days.


I think we still have the recorder with that giant foam-lined case as well (Jeff will remember that I’m sure!😊) ! It served us well on many a film when transfers and dailies were synced on location. It sure beat hauling around the RCA mag recorder we used prior to that (a great machine, but a beast to pack and ship!) Along with a Ampex AG-440-C recorder and Magna-Tech 92C synchronizer.  (How is it that I can remember this shit but can’t recall what I did two days ago?)



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Oh cool!  Just talking to a guy at API (probably not born before 1988) about the time (lots of time) I once spent rehabbing a, probably, 80-90 input API console that had been damaged in a big fire at some studio or another.  Camolin and Q-tips.  For days and days.  Our shop smelled like a fire-place for months afterwards.  We got it up and running although if it had been me, I wouldn't have bought it.  I am sure that, even with our hard work, it was never quite right.


Way before 1988. :)  Those were the days.



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1988 I was cutting sound digitally... well, it was analog sound under digital control. 


In 1986, we became an early site for the CMX CASS system. We put it in one of the 24-track rooms, specifically to speed up cutting and mixing TV tracks. Remember, East Coast-style video TV productions didn't use dubbers, but built their shows up on a multitrack. (We had one dubber for FXR, which we'd sync our multitrack to when a client brought in multiple units.)




CASS was an IBM XT computer controlling a bank of Adams-Smith synchronizers for the tape decks, a bunch of VCAs in the MCI console for mixing, and a Mac where I'd hacked the mouse button to a GPI for digital effects and sequencer start*. User interface was almost identical to a CMX 3400, with the addition of mix automation.


[* - Sequencer spoke to a K250 for music and rackmount Akai sampler for selected effects. So we had some digital audio.]


It was awesome for laying in effects or VO precisely, or doing 3-point edits where a hit point lined up with a frame of pix, and the in- and out- happened automatically. Usually its one-frame resolution was sufficient... but when we wanted to do fractional-frame bumps, we could advance the source a full frame and route through a DDL. More adjustable, and faster, than moving film one perf at a time.


[When I wanted really tight VO editing, I'd cut on 1/4" first, then stripe the result to lay in via CMX.]


A lot of what I'd learned on CASS got used when I was helping develop the AKG/Orban broadcast-specific DSE7000 and Audicy workstations.





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